The Other Side of Our Professors
05 de October de 2021
05 de October de 2021
Emily was just another girl in her school until, as a seven years old, she developed a paralysing stutter that took over. From that moment onwards, talking to people would become a great challenge for her; a challenge from which she’d never walk out intact. She stuttered until she was fourteen years old, when she met a teacher that dedicated all her efforts to helping her overcome that fear. Among other things, and in order for her to learn to express herself again, she encouraged her to take acting lessons. Years later, Emily Blunt would overcome her stutter. But not just that. Her acting lessons helped her become one of Hollywood’s greatest actresses.
Many of us have had a professor leave a mark in our life that we never forget. We all remember that particular one that made us fall in love with a course, that inspired in us the confidence we needed to reach our goals or the one that led us to discover our true calling — professors that pass on their enthusiasm to the students and that leave behind a legacy. Today is World Teacher’s Day and, because of this, we wanted to have some of EAE’s professors over to express our gratitude and to ask them a few questions about their profession. Today, it’s their turn to sit down and answer some questions!
Professor and Supply Chain Masters’ Director. A professor for 10 years.
I think that, in order to teach, it’s essential to have the willpower and a true interest in sharing and being generous. This leads to feeling passionate about teaching and, in this way, to exercise it naturally and feeling empathy for the students. I had the chance to teach some courses about ten years ago and I was “hooked”; mostly by the direct relationship with the students and with their interest in the matters at hand.
Project Management and Supply Chain Professor. A professor for 7 years
I found out I wanted to be a teacher more than twenty years ago, when I was doing my Doctorate at the Technical University of Madrid. I was —and still am— very shy. I had to teach some classes at the Civil Engineering School and I discovered that I really liked preparing a topic for everyone else to understand. That “really liking it” was so strong that it exceeded my shyness.
Business and Institutional Protocol Professor and Corporate Governance, Strategy and Business Model Professor. A professor for 16 years.
We teachers play a fundamental role in the personal and intellectual development of our students. We are their influencers. We can motivate, influence and focus them towards excellence in their professional journey.
Sustainable Logistics Professor. A professor for 4 years.
In my case, where sustainability is at the base of every course I teach, my goal is not to leave a mark on my students, but rather that they leave a positive mark on the organisations that they work for and on the society in which they do their work.
Nowadays, 90% of students come to class with a laptop or a tablet and take notes with them or use them to look up information for the class. This makes it more crucial to catch their attention with the topics at hand and with the dynamics of the class. I think it’s fundamental that they learn through their own experience, getting involved. That’s why I shy away from theoretical masterclasses and reading from slides.
It’s rewarding to see that there’s an increasing amount of students that, after finishing the course, become more aware of the importance of guaranteeing sustainable development and feel empowered to drive change and generate impact. Also, seeing how, little by little, the amount of women students increases in specialised classes that were usually associated with masculinised industries. It’s through education and training that we can put an end to the gap everywhere.
I ask my students to introduce themselves and, besides stating their names and previous studies, I ask them to share their aspirations and dreams and to tell me about the energy that moves them. We talk about what they bring to society and how they can help build the world they want to see.
In the course’s introduction, I stress the need for individual thinking and I tell them that the greatest resources with which we’ll be working is going to be their minds and their thought capacity. When they introduce themselves, I ask them to tell me why they choose to be sitting here in class instead of being in the Bahamas enjoying the beach (the destination may vary) and, when I introduce myself, I tell them that I’m no masterclass teacher. The “warning” depends on the course I’m teaching.
It’s been really rewarding to see students applying in the real world what they’ve learned in class or to receive comments on how what I’ve taught them has made them focus on sustainability. Teaching classes is rewarding in itself, but every moment that acts as confirmation that students are going to generate positive impact is what makes it worth the effort.
I can say, with no hesitation, that it was on a last day of a course, when the students started applauding me spontaneously. That kind of recognition is better than any economic reward.
I learn something from the students everyday: the strength of character of those who struggle and that, in spite of that, study and are always present; that I must be there with all my energy and strength — a class can’t be taught half-heartedly; that we are delicate beings and that we can break in class; that it’s necessary to pay attention to each student's singularities, because everyone learns differently; that humor and laughter are crucial for learning; and, lastly, that behind the people sitting in front of you, there are many circumstances, capacities and difficulties that can be distracting them and it’s my job to find ways to get their attention.
My students have taught me many great things that rest on values that I hold dear: thankfulness, acknowledgement, effort, involvement, responsibility and authenticity, among others.
When I’m finished, during the nights, I usually read articles, books that help me grow professionally and series in english in order to keep on practising a language I love. On the weekends, I enjoy walking on the mountains, listening to the sound of birds and watching the beautiful scenes of our geography.
Ha ha ha! Professor and many other things by day. So, when the night comes, I’m a dreamer. You know… in order to bring about change, we must first believe in them; and before that, think about them and dream about them.